Andrew

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “of man, belonging to man.”

The name is derived from the Greek Ανδρεασ (Andreas), which is derived from the Greek word, ανδροσ (andros), a genitive form of the word, ανηρ (aner), meaning, “man.” Hence, it would rougly translate to mean “belonging to man” or “of man.”

It was popularized by one of the twelve Apostles, who is now considered a popular Christian saint. It is suggested that Andreas was a nickname given to him, or possibly just a direct Greek translation of a Hebrew name that had a similar meaning, now lost to history.

Saint Andrew is considered the patron saint of Scotland, Russia, Greece and Romania. According to legend, he was martyred around the Black sea on an X shaped cross. His designated name-day is November 30.

The name has remained a staple in the U.S. top 100. As of 2011, he was the 16th most popular male name. His rankings and his various incarnations in other countries are as follows:

  • # 1 (Andrei, Romania, 2009)
  • # 3 (Andrea, Italy, 2010)
  • # 3 (Andrea, Italian-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 6 (Andreas, Estonia, 2011)
  • # 8 (Andria, Georgia, 2011)
  • # 8 (Andrej, Serbia, 2011)
  • # 9 (Andrey, Russia BabyCenter, 2011)
  • # 10 (Ondřej, Czech Republic, 2011)
  • # 10 (Andre/Andrew/Andrea/Andrei, Malta, 2011)
  • # 12 (Andreas, Norway, 2011)
  • # 25 (András, Hungary, 2011)
  • # 28 (Andreas, Denmark, 2011)
  • # 35 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 38 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 39 (Andrej, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 41 (Andraž, Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 46 (Andreas, Austria, 2010)
  • # 57 (Andrija, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 58 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 61 (Andres, Spain, 2010)
  • # 68 (Australia, NSW, 2011)
  • # 70 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 92 (Andrej, Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 98 (Andro, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 98 (Anders, Norway, 2011)
  • # 176 (Andres, United States, 2011)
  • # 241 (André, United States, 2011)
  • # 244 (Andrea, France, 2010)
  • # 388 (Andreas, France, 2010)
  • # 950 (Anders, United States, 2011)

Other forms are as follows (listed alphabetically by linguistic origin).

  • Andrees/Andries (Afrikaans/Old Dutch)
  • Andrea (Albanian/Italian)
  • Ndreu (Albanian)
  • Andreyas (Amharic)
  • Andraws/Andraous اندراوس (Arabic/Coptic/Lebanese/Syriac)
  • Andreas (Armenian/Czech/Estonian/German/Greek/Hungarian/Slovak/Scandinavian)
  • Andresu (Asturian)
  • Ander (Basque)
  • Anderl (Baverian)
  • Andrièu (Bearnais/Occitanian/Provencal)
  • Andrivet (Bearnais)
  • Andrej Андрэй (Belarusian)
  • Andreo/Andrev (Breton)
  • Andrei/Andrey Андрей (Bulgarian/Old Church Slavonic/Romanian/Russian/)
  • Andrejko (Bulgarian)
  • Andreu (Catalan/Aragonese)
  • Andria ანდრია (Corsican/Georgian/Sardinian)
  • Andrej (Croatian/Czech/Slovak/Slovene)
  • Andrija (Croatian/Serbian)
  • Andro/Jandre (Croatian)
  • Ondřej (Czech)
  • Anders (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Dres/Dreves/Drevs (Danish)
  • Andries/Adrees (Dutch)
  • Andres (Estonian)
  • Ando/Andre/Andro/Andrus/Andu/Andi/Anti (Estonian)
  • Andras/Andrias (Faroese)
  • Andriou (Fijian)
  • Antero/Tero (Finnish)
  • Antti (Finnish)
  • Andris/Driess (Frisian)
  • André (French/Galician/Ladino/Portuguese)
  • Dria (Genevoese: Dialectical Italian form)
  • Anda (German: dialectical form, Northern Austria)
  • Anekelea (Hawaiian)
  • Andor/András/Endre (Hungarian)
  • Andris (Hungarian/Latvian)
  • Andrés (Icelandic/Spanish)
  • Aindréas/Aindriú (Irish)
  • Andrejs (Latvian)
  • Andriejus/Andrius (Lithuanian)
  • Andrija/Indri (Maltese)
  • Anaru (Maori)
  • Dreesi (Old Swiss German: Basel dialect)
  • Andrzej/Jędrzej (Polish: latter is a very old form)
  • Drewes (Plattdeutsch)
  • Andrea/Andreia/Andri/Andrin/Andriu (Romansch)
  • Ándá/Ándaras/Ándde/Ánde (Saami)
  • Aindrea/Aindreas/Anndra (Scottish)
  • Ondrej (Slovak)
  • Andraž (Slovene)
  • Handrij (Sorbian)
  • Andalea (Swahili)
  • Andriy Андрiй (Ukrainian)
  • Andras (Welsh)

Belorusian diminutives are: Andros, Andruk and Andrus. Czech masculine diminutive forms are Andy, Ondra, Ondrášek, Ondrejko, Ondrík, Ondřejek and Ondříček. French diminutive forms are: Dédé, Ti-Dré, Andi, DéaAndy. A German diminutive form is Andy/Andi and English are Andi, Andie, Andy, Dre and Drew. A Hungarian diminutive is Bandi and Polish diminutive forms are Andrzejek, Jędrek and Jędruś. Scotch diminutive form is Dand.

Note: Andrea is a common feminine form in most European countries outside of Italy and Albania, particularly in Germany and the Anglo-phone world. Whether this is a borrowing from the Italian and was changed, or a coincidental evolution, is unknown. What is known is that Andrea has been used in England as a feminine form since the 17th-century.

Feminine forms are (listed alphabetically by linguistic origin)

  • Andere (Basque)
  • Andrea (Basque/Breton/English/German/Spanish)
  • Andriva/Andriveta (Bearnais/Occitanian)
  • Andersine (Danish)
  • Andrine (Danish/Norwegian)
  • Drine (Danish)
  • Dreesje (Dutch)
  • Andrée (French)
  • Aanasi/Aanarsi/Aanta/Aantariarsi (Greenlandic)
  • Andreina (Italian)
  • Andzeja/Ondzeja (Polish: obscure)
  • Andréia (Portuguese: Brazilian)
  • Andreia (Portuguese: European)
  • Andriano (Provencal)
  • Andreea (Romanian)
  • Andrina (Romansch)
  • Andrijana (Serbo-Croatian)
  • Andreja (Slovene)
  • Andrietta/Andriette (Swedish/Danish: very rare)

Czech diminutive forms are: Adrejka, Andruška, Andra, Rea. English diminutive forms are Andi, Andy, Annie and Drea.

Nicholas

Origin: Greek
Meaning: “victory of the people.”

Today is St. Nicholas Day! So, I thought, what a perfect opportunity to blog about the name Nicholas and all his myriad variations.

This is an update of a post I wrote three years ago in December. I thought I would rerun it with some updates.

The name is derived from the Greek, Νικόλαος, (Nikolaos), which is composed of the Greek words νικη (níkē), meaning, “victory” and λαὸς (laos), meaning, “people.” λαὸς (laos) could also derive from the Greek root word, λας (-las) as in “λα-τομεῑο“, which means, “stone” “rock”, as in Greek mythology it was believed that all humans were formed from the stones that Deucalion and Pyrrah threw over their shoulders as they were running.

In the post-Christian world, the name Nicholas was popularized through the cult of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Lycia, (the inspiration for the modern-day Santa Claus). He was known for his acts of charity toward the poor, the most popular story being that he saved a local poor man’s daughters from lives of prostitution by dropping gold nuggets down the man’s chimney so that the man could pay for his debts instead of selling his daughters.

St. Nicholas is a very popular saint in both the Eastern and Western Churches.

The name was introduced into England in the form of Nicholas, though the sans H version has also its share of usage in the Anglophone world. Nicholas first came into usage in England around the 12th-century and remained common even through the period of the Reformation. Currently, Nicholas is the 42nd most popular male name for boys in the United States, (2011). His rankings in all his various forms in other countries are as follows:

  • # 1 (Nika/Nikoloz(i), Georgia, 2011)
  • # 3 (Nikola, Macedonia, 2006)
  • # 3 (Nikola, Serbia, 2011)
  • # 5 (Nikolay, Bulgaria, 2009)
  • # 5 (Nikolaos, Greece, 2010)
  • # 6 (Nicolás, Argentina, 2009)
  • # 9 (Nicolás, Columbia, 2011)
  • # 9 (Nicolás, Mexico, 2011)
  • # 15 (Nicholas/Nick/Nicholai/Nicoló, Malta, 2011)
  • # 16 (Mikołaj, Poland, 2009)
  • # 22 (Nicolò, Italy, 2010)
  • # 22 (Nicolas, Spain, 2010)
  • # 24 (Niklas, Austria, 2010)
  • # 27 (Nikola, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 29 (Nicolas, Belgium, 2008)
  • # 31 (Nikolaj, Denmark, 2011)
  • # 36 (Australia, NSW, 2011)
  • # 36 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 45 (Nikolai, Norway, 2011)
  • # 51 (Nicolas, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 56 (Nicolas, Austria, 2010)
  • # 69 (Nicolas, France, 2010)
  • # 72 (Miklós, Hungary, 2011)
  • # 75 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 82 (Nikola, Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 93 (Niklas, Norway, 2011)
  • # 94 (Nikola, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2010)
  • # 168 (Nicolas, United States, 2011)
  • # 181 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 332 (Nicolaas, Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 451 (Nicolas, Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 473 (Nikolas, United States, 2011)
  • # 550 (Nickolas, United States, 2011)
  • # 639 (Nikolai, United States, 2011)

Other forms of the name include the following, (divided alphabetically by linguistic origin):

Latinate Forms
Variations used in Latin languages

  • Micolau (Catalan)
  • Nicolau (Catalan/Galician/Occitanian/Portuguese)
  • Niculaiu (Corsican)
  • Nicoty (Brusseler: a French dialect)
  • Colin (French: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name, not to be confused with the Celtic Colin/Collin which has a completely different etymology and pronunciation)
  • Nicolas/Nico (French: diminutive forms are Colas, Coliche, Colineau, Coya, Koni, Nic, Nico and Nikko)
  • Coletto/Colino (Italian: obscure)
  • Niccola/Nicola (Italian: Cola is a diminutive form)
  • Nicolai (Italian)
  • Nicolao (Italian)
  • Niccolò/Niccolo/Nicolò (Italian)
  • Nicoletto (Italian: obscure)
  • Niccolino/Nicolino (Italian: obscure)
  • Nico (Italian/Romanian/Spanish: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name)
  • Nicolás/Colás (Leonese)
  • Nicu (Leonese/Romanian: originally diminutive forms, used as independent given names)
  • Nicolaus (Late Latin)
  • Nicolinus (Late Latin)
  • Neculai/Nicolae/Niculae (Romanian: diminutive form is Nicoară)
  • Nicușor (Romanian: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
  • Clà/Clau (Romansch)
  • Niclà/Nicolà/Niculin (Romansch)
  • Nigola (Sardinian)
  • Nicolao/Nicolás (Spanish)

Feminine forms ares

  • Nicolaua (Catalan)
  • Colette (French: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name)
  • Coline (French: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name. The name also coincides with the French word for hill. Diminutive form is Colinette)
  • Nicole (French)
  • Nicolette (French: originally a diminutive form of Nicole, now exclusively used as an independent given name)
  • Nicoline (French)
  • Nicolasa (Galician/Spanish)
  • Nicoletta (Italian)
  • Nicolina (Italian)
  • Nicoleta (Romanian)
  • Nicolina/Niculina (Romanian)
  • Nicoleta/Nicolá (Spanish)

Germanic Forms
Variations used in Germanic based languages

  • Nikolaus (Afrikaans/Old Dutch)
  • Claus/Klaus/Niels (Danish: originally diminutive forms but used as independent given names for centuries)
  • Nicolai/Nikolaus/Nikolaj (Danish)
  • Nilaus/Nis (Danish)
  • Nicolaas/Nikolaas (Dutch)
  • Klaas/Nico/Niek/Niels (Dutch: Originally diminutive forms but have been used as independent given names for centuries)
  • Nicholas/Nicolas (English: diminutive forms include: Cole, Nat, Nick and Nicky)
  • Niklas/Niklái (Faroese)
  • Niklaas (Flemmish)
  • Klaas/Klaes (Frisian)
  • Nickel/Nickels (Frisian)
  • Claus/Claas/Klaas/Klaus/Klas (German: originally diminutive forms but have been used as independent given names for centuries)
  • Nickolaus/Nicolas/Nicolaus/ Niklaus/Nikolaus/Niklas (German)
  • Nico/Niko (German)
  • Neikaulaus (Gothic)
  • Néckel/Kleeschen/Klos (Lexumburgish)
  • Klaos (Limburgish)
  • Nikolaas/Nicolaas (Low Saxon)
  • Nicolai/Nikolai (Norwegian)
  • Niels (Norwegian)
  • Nickel (Plattdeutsch)
  • Michlaus (Swabian)
  • Niclas/Nicklas/Niklas (Swedish)
  • Nels/Nils (Swedish)
  • Klas/Claes (Swedish)
  • Chlaus/Glaus (Swiss-German)

Germanic feminine forms are:

  • Nikoline (Danish)
  • Klasina/Klazina (Dutch)
  • Nicole (Dutch/English/German: a borrowing from the French, very popular in the 1980s in German-speaking countries, English-speaking countries, as well as in the Netherlands and Scandinavia. In 1980, Nicole was the 7th most popular female name in the United States)
  • Nicolet (Dutch: a bastardization of the French, Nicolette)
  • Nicolien/Nicoline (Dutch)
  • Nicola/Nichola (English: a name that was particularly popular in Great Britain in the 70s and 80s, not to be confused with the masculine versions which are separate evolutions. This is pronounced NIK-uh-lah, and is most likely a feminization of the Scottish Nichol)
  • Nikolina (Faroese)
  • Nikólína (Icelandic)

Slavic Forms
Forms used in Slavonic languages

  • Mikalai Мікалай (Belarusian)
  • Nikola(y)/Niklen Никола/Николай/Никлен (Bulgarian: diminutive forms are: Kole, Kolyo, Kolyu and Nikùlitza).
  • Nikola/Niko (Croatian: Nikša and Nikica are diminutive forms)
  • Mikoláš/Mikuláš (Czech: short form is Mikula )
  • Nikola (Macedonian: diminutive forms are Kole and Nikolče nee-KOL-che)
  • Mikołaj (Polish: diminutive forms are Kola, Mikcio, Mik, Mikołajek, Miki, Miko, Mikoś, Mikuś, Misza, Nicz, Niki and Niko)
  • Nikolai Николай (Russian: Kolya and Nikita are diminutive forms)
  • Nikola Никола (Serbian)
  • Mikoláš/Mikuláš (Slovakian)
  • Nikolas (Slovakian)
  • Nikita (Slovakian: a borrowing from the Russian, sometimes used as an independent given name in Slovakia)
  • Miklavž/Niko/Nikolaj (Slovene)
  • Mikławš/Klaws (Sorbian)
  • Mykola Микола/Mykolai Миколай (Ukrainian)

Feminine forms are:

  • Nikoleta/Nikolina Николина/Николета (Bulgarian)
  • Nikolina/Nika/Nina (Croatian)
  • Nikoleta (Czech/Polish/Slovakian)
  • Nikola (Czech/Polish/Slovakian: currently very popular in all three countries)
  • Nikol (Czech/Polish: a corruption of the French, Nicole, and is a relatively recent form in the Czech Republic and Poland and is also rapidly increasing in popularity)
  • Nikolina (Czech/Polish)
  • Mikuláška (Slovakian: obscure)
  • Nika/Nikolaja (Slovene)

Celtic Forms
Forms used in Celtic Countries

  • Nikolaz/Nikolazig (Breton)
  • Nikolas (Cornish)
  • Cóilín (Irish)
  • Nicolás/Nioclás (Irish)
  • Neacel/Nichol/Nicol (Scottish)
  • Niclas (Welsh)

Baltic Forms
Forms used in the Baltic

  • Klaus/Laas/Laus (Estonian)
  • Nigol/Nigulas/Nigul (Estonian)
  • Niilas/Niilo/Niilu (Estonian)
  • Niklas/Nikolai/Niko (Estonian)
  • Nikita (Estonian: a borrowing from the Russian, occasionally used as an independent given name)
  • Nil/Nillo/Nilo/Nils/Nilus (Estonian)
  • Launo/Niilo/Niklas/Niko (Finnish)
  • Nikolajs/Niks/Nils (Latvian)
  • Klavs/Niklavs (Latvian)
  • Mikalojus/Mikas/Nikalojus (Lithuanian)
  • Miklay Миклай (Mari)
  • Mikuk Микук (Mari)
  • Mikus Микуш (Mari)
  • Nibá (Saami)
  • Nigá/Nigo (Saami)
  • Nihkke/Nihkko (Saami)
  • Niillas/Nilá/Nillá/Nilsa (Saami)

Feminine forms are:

  • Nikolė (Lithuanian)
  • Nikoleta/Nikoletė (Lithuanian)

Other Forms
Forms used in other languages

  • Nikolla/Nikollë/Koll/Kol (Albanian)
  • Nikolas ኒኮላስ (Amharic/Ethiopian)
  • Nikoghayos Նիկողայոս/Nikoghos o Նիկողոս (Armenian)
  • Nikola (Basque)
  • Mikulay/Mikuҫ Микулай, Микуҫ (Chuvash)
  • Nikolaus/Niqwela/Niqewlawes نيقولاوس (Coptic/Lebanese/Syriac)
  • Niko (Fijian)
  • Nikoloz ნიკოლოზ (Georgian)
  • Nikolaos Νικόλαος/Nikolas Νικόλας/Nikos Νίκος /Nikolis Νικολής (Greek Modern)
  • Niilsi/Niisi (Greenlandic)
  • Nikku/Nikkulaat (Greenlandic)
  • Miklós/Nikola (Hungarian)
  • Nikku/ Nikkii/Nikorasu (Japanese)
  • Nikola (Maltese)

Feminine forms are as follows:

  • Níkē Νίκη/Nikoléta Νικολέτα/Νikolína Νικολίνα (Greek: modern)
  • Nikkuliina/Nikkuliit (Greenlandic)
  • Nikolett (Hungarian)

Virgil

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: unknown
Eng (VUR-jəl); Fre (vare-ZHEEL)

The name was borne by famous Latin poet, Publius Vergilius Maro (70–19 BCE), the author of the Aenead, credited for being one of Rome’s most epic poems.

Dante used Virgil as the guide in his Inferno and part of Purgatorio.

The origins of the name are unclear, Virgil itself is derived from the Latin, Virgilius/Vergilius, a Roman family name of uncertain meaning.

At one time, Virgil was one of the most popular male names in the United States. The highest he ranked was in 1907 coming in as the 93rd most popular male name. As of 2010, Virgil no longer appears in the U.S. top 1000

As of 2009, its French counterpart of Virgile was the 333rd most popular male name in France.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Virgiliu (Albanian/Romanian/Sicilian)
  • Virchilio (Aragonese)
  • Virxiliu (Asturian)
  • Virgili (Catalan/Lombard/Occitanian)
  • Virgilije Вергилиј (Croatian/Macedonian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Virgilius (Dutch/Latin)
  • Vergil (English/German/Plattdeutsch/Ripoarisch/Scandinavian)
  • Virgil (English/Romanian)
  • Vergíliu (Extramaduran)
  • Virgile (French)
  • Virgjili (Frulian)
  • Feirgil/Veirgil (Gaelic)
  • Virxilio (Galician)
  • Virgill (Icelandic)
  • Virgilio (Italian/Spanish)
  • Vergilius (Latin)
  • Vergīlijs (Latvian)
  • Virgilijus (Lithuanian)
  • Virġilju (Maltese)
  • Bergílio (Mirandese)
  • Wergiliusz (Polish)
  • Virgílio (Portuguese)
  • Vergėlėjos (Samogaitian)
  • Vergílius (Slovak)
  • Fyrsil (Welsh)
The name was also borne by an 8th-century Irish saint and missionary, Virgil of Salzburg.

Joseph, Josephine

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew יוֹסֵף
Meaning: “He shall add; God shall add.”
Eng (JOH-sef)

The name is derived from the Biblical Hebrew male name, יוֹסֵף (Yosef).

In the Old Testament, the name is borne by the first son of Rachel and the eleventh son of Jacob. After being sold off as a slave by his brothers, Joseph ended up in Egypt, later becoming an important advisor to the pharoah.

In the New Testament, it is borne by the husband of the Virgin Mary. Known as St. Joseph among Catholics, he is a particularly revered saint among Italian Catholics, considered the patron saint of stepfathers and carpenters.

Another important character with this name in the New Testament, is Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Christ and also the man who provided a burial spot for Jesus after his death.

The name has always been very prevalent throughout Europe and the Middle East.

In the United States, its popularity can be due to several factors: it was common among both various Christian and Jewish immigrants. The name is even very common among Muslim families.

Currently, Joseph is the 20th most popular male name in the United States, (2010). In fact, Joseph has never ranked outside of the Top 20. Common English nicknames are Joe and Joey. His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 1 (Yusif, Azerbaijan, 2012)
  • # 1 (Yusuf, Turkey, 2010)
  • # 2 (Yusuf, Tajikistan, 2009)
  • # 2 (Youssef, Tunisia)
  • # 3 (Yousef, Arab-World, 2011)
  • # 4 (José, Equitorial Guinea, 2011)
  • # 5 (Joosep, Estonia, 2011)
  • # 5 (Isle of Man, 2009)
  • # 5 (Yousouf, Israel, among Muslim and Christian boys, 2010)
  • # 5 (José, Philippines, 2011)
  • # 5 (Jose, Puerto Rico, 2010)
  • # 7 (Youssef, Morocco)
  • # 8 (Josip, Croatia, 2010)
  • # 8 (Yosef, Israel, among Druze boys, 2004)
  • # 9 (Yosef, Israel, among Jewish boys, 2010)
  • # 14 (Giuseppe, Italy, 2010)
  • # 15 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 16 (Joseph/Giuseppe, Malta, 2010)
  • # 29 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 36 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 37 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 41 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 41 (József, Hungary, 2010)
  • # 43 (José, Spain, 2010)
  • # 44 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 51 (José, United States, 2010)
  • # 62 (Josef, Sweden, 2010)
  • # 68 (Josip, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2010)
  • # 68 (Josep, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 71 (José, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 74 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 149 (France, 2009)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Josef (Afrikaans)
  • Isuf (Albanian)
  • Jozef/Jozif (Albanian: Zef is a diminutive form)
  • Sepp (Alsatian)
  • Hovsep Հովսեփ (Armenian)
  • Yūsuf/Youssef/Yussef يوسف, (Arabic)
  • Yusif/Yusuf/Usub (Azeri)
  • Joseba/Josepe (Basque)
  • Joseph ДЖО́ЗЕФ (Belarusian/English/German/French)
  • Josip (Bosnian/Croatian: Joso, Jozo and Joško are diminutive forms)
  • Jusuf (Bosnian)
  • Yosif Йосиф (Bulgarian)
  • Josep (Catalan, Pep is a common diminutive form)
  • Ghjaseppu (Corsican)
  • Jozèf (Creole/Haitian)
  • Josef (Czech)
  • Joep (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Joop (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
  • Joost (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Jozef (Dutch)
  • Joseph (English/French/German)
  • Joséphin (French: obscure)
  • Joosep (Estonian)
  • Jósef (Faroese)
  • Jooseppi (Finnish)
  • Juuso (Finnish)
  • Bepùt/Bepi/Bepo (Fruilian)
  • Xosé (Galician)
  • Ioseb იოსებ (Georgian)
  • Ioses/Joses Ιωσης (Greek: Biblical)
  • Iōséph Ἰωσήφ/Iosepos, Iosipos Ιώσηπος (Greek: Modern)
  • Yosef יוסף (Hebrew)
  • Isuppu (Hindi)
  • József (Hungarian: Jóska is the diminutive form)
  • Yusuf/Yusup/Ucup (Indonesian)
  • Giuseppe (Italian: diminutive forms are Beppe, Peppe and Peppino)
  • Giuseppino (Italian)
  • Pino (Italian: diminutive form now used as an independent given name)
  • Seosamh (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Ujöp (Ladino)
  • Iosephus/Josephus (Latin)
  • Jāzeps (Latvian)
  • Gioxeppe (Ligurian)
  • Joep (Limburgish)
  • Juozapas (Lithuanian)
  • Juozas (Lithuanian)
  • Giüsèpp (Lombard: Pèpp and Bèpp are diminutive forms)
  • Ousep/Ousef/Yosef (Malayalam)
  • Ouseppachen/Kochaappu (Malayalam)
  • Ġużeppi (Maltese: Ġużi, Ġuż, Peppi, Pepp, Żeppi and Żepp are diminutives)
  • Hohepa (Maori)
  • Jupp (Moselfrench)
  • Josef (Norwegian)
  • Josèp (Occitanian)
  • Iosifu Іѡсифъ (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Yūsuf/Youssef/Yussef يوسف, (Persian)
  • Joosef (Plattdeutsch)
  • Józef (Polish)
  • Gèseppe (Puglian)
  • Jüppes/Jüppke (Ripoarisch)
  • Iosif (Romanian)
  • Gisep (Romansch)
  • Iosif/Osip Иосиф (Russian)
  • Jisepu (Sardinian)
  • Josif Јосиф (Serbian)
  • Seòsaidh (Scots-Gaelic)
  • Giuseppi (Sicilian)
  • U’Seppi (Sicilian)
  • Zefel/ Zeflik (Silesian)
  • Jozef (Slovakian)
  • Jožef/Jože (Slovene)
  • Sefer (Swabian)
  • José (Spanish/Portuguese: Pepe and Pepito are the diminutive forms)
  • Yusup/Usup/Ucup (Sudanese)
  • Yoseppu (Tamil)
  • Yusuf (Turkish)
  • Yosyp (Ukrainian)
  • Josep (Valencian)
  • Juxepe (Venetian: diminutives are Bepi and Bepin)
  • Joseff (Welsh)
  • Yissl/Jayzl/Yussel (Yiddish)

Bavarian diminutive forms are Pepi, Perperl, SeppSeppiSeppl and Söpp.

Other German diminutives include: Seb, Seffi and Beppal is a Swiss-German diminutive form.

A Rheinish diminutive is Jupp.

Czech diminutives are: Pepík, Pepek, Pepan and Pepin.

Dutch short forms are Jef, Zef and Jos.

A common Hebrew short form is Yosi.

Italian diminutives and its dialectical forms include: Scepp (Calabrian); Pepp’, Pè, Peppiniéllo, Peppì, Peppinié (Campanese); Gioxe, Bepi, Bepin (Ligurian); Gepe and Pinin (Piedmontese); Seppud, Bapèpp, Peppo, Peppin, G’sip, Giusè, Pinucc, Peppon, ‘Mbà Peppe and P’pen (Puglian); Peppe and Pippo (Sicilian); Bepi and Beppe (Tuscan) and  Bepìn and Bepo (Venetian).

Standard Italian diminutives are: Bepi, Beppe, Beppino, Geppetto, Geppino, Peppe, Peppenuzzo, Peppi, Peppino, Peppinello, Peppiniello, Peppinetto, Peppo, Peppuccio, Pino Pinello, Pinuccio, Peppone, Pippo Puccio and Seppe.

Portuguese diminutives include: Zé, Zézinho, Zéca and Zécinha.

Slovakian diminutives are: Jožko, Jojo and Dodo.

Slovene short forms are: Pepe, Pepi and Pepc.

A common Spanish compound name is José Maria

Its more common feminine form of Josephine became prevalent throughout Europe at the end of the 18th-century and at the beginning of the 19th-century, due to the popularity of Josephine Bonaparte, (1763-1814), the wife of Napoleon.

Originally, Joséphine was a French diminutive form of Josèphe. Joséphine became the standard form around the same time Josephine Bonaparte became famous and has remained the more common French feminine form of Joseph, since.

Currently, in the United States, she is the 186th most popular female name, (2010). In the Netherlands, she was the 153rd most popular female name, (2010).

Other feminine forms include:

  • Jozefina (Albanian)
  • Josepa (Catalan: diminutive is Pepa)
  • Josipa (Croatian)
  • Josefa (Czech/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Josefina (Czech)
  • Jozefien (Dutch)
  • Joetta (English)
  • Josephina/Josephine (English)
  • Josefiina (Finnish)
  • Josée (French)
  • Josèphe (French)
  • Joséphine (French)
  • Josette (French)
  • Josefine (German/Danish)
  • Josepha (German)
  • Iosiphina Ιωσηφίνα (Greek: Modern)
  • Jozefa (Hungarian/Slovene)
  • Jósefína (Icelandic)
  • Seosaimhín (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Giosetta (Italian)
  • Giuseppa/Giuseppina (Italian)
  • Iosephina (Latin)
  • Ġużeppa (Maltese: Ġuża is the diminutive form)
  • Józefa (Polish)
  • Józefina (Polish)
  • Jožefina/Jožefa/Joža (Slovene)
  • Jožica (Slovene: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Josefa/Josefina (Spanish)
  • Josefin/Josefine (Swedish)
  • Yosipa/Osipa/Yuzefa (Ukrainian)

Croatian diminutive form is Pepica.

Czech diminutives are: Pepa, Pepca, Pepicka, Pepina, Pepka, Jóža, Jožka and Jóžin.

Common English short forms for Josephine include: Fifi, Jo, Jody, Jojo, Josie and Posey.

Common French diminutive forms are Fifi and Fifette.

German diminutives are Pepa.

Italian diminutives are: Giusy, Pina, Pinuccia, Pinella and Pippa.

Slovene diminutive form is Pepca

Marie-Josée is a common French compound form.

Designated name-days are March 19 and May 1.

Gertrude

James C. Christensen

Gender: Feminine
Origin: German
Meaning: “spear strength.”
Eng (GER-trood); Ger (ger-TROO-də)

She has adorable nickname options; Trudy, among others. She has a similar feel to other current vintage trend-setters such as Matilda and Eleanor, yet Gertrude, for the most part remains unloved. Like Hildegard and Brynhild, this is one of those names where I often ask myself: why not?

She is strong, vintagy and no-frills, as mentioned before, she has tons of adorable nickname options. Is she really anymore grandmotherly or old sounding than Emma, Eleanor, Matilda or even Abigail? We have gotten used to hearing these names but I remember a time when the above names were considered “too old” until it took one famous person to use them and voila, they are automatically endearing and trendy.

Ok, I’ll get off my high horse and get onto the what the name is really all about.

Portrait of Gurtruydt van Leyden.
by James C. Christensen via http://www.greenwichworkshop.com/saintsandangels/17.htm

Gertrude is composed of the Germanic roots, ger (spear) and þruþ (strength).

The name was borne by several illustrious medieval women, two of whom are saints. Gertrude of Nivelles (626-659) is revered as the patron saint of cats! I am not quite sure how she came to be known as a feline patron, but she was the daughter of Pepin I and was supposed to be married off at the age of ten, but steadfastly refused, insisting that she would only marry Christ. After the death of her father, her wealthy mother constructed Gertrude her very own convent, making her the abbess. She is also invoked against mice and rat infestations.

Another Gertrude is Gertrude the Great (1256-1302) a German nun, mystic and great theologian of her time.

The name has been borne by German and Dutch royalty alike.

Gertrude is pretty well-known in the English-speaking world, but actually never experienced much usage. It was introduced into England in the 15th-century by Dutch settlers, where it was ocassionally used. It appears in Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1600) as the name of the hero’s mother.  It was used sparingly in the United States at the beginning of the 20th-century, possibly being introduced by German immigrants. The highest it ever ranked was in 1898 coming in as the 573rd most popular female name.

In the United States, its most famous bearer is Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), famous writer and poet.

As of 2011, her Finnish form of Kerttu was the 20th most popular female name in Finland and Geertruida came in as the 491st most popular female name in the Netherlands, (2010). Meanwhile, its Dutch diminutive offshoot of Geertje is the 368th most popular female name in the Netherlands, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Gartred (Cornish)
  • Gertruda (Croatian/Czech/Lithuanian/Polish/Romansch/Slovene)
  • Geerdina (Dutch)
  • Geertje (Dutch)
  • Ge(e)rtruida (Dutch)
  • Geertrui (Dutch)
  • Gertrude (Dutch/English/French/German/Italian/Platdeutch)
  • Trudy (Dutch/English/German)
  • Truus (Dutch)
  • Kelli (Estonian)
  • Kertu (Estonian)
  • Kärt (Estonian)
  • Ge(i)rtrúð (Faroese)
  • Gortra (Faroese)
  • Jertru (Finnish)
  • Jerttu (Finnish)
  • Järtty (Finnish)
  • Kerttu (Finnish)
  • Kerttuli (Finnish)
  • Gesa (Frisian)
  • Gesche (Frisian/Platdeutsch)
  • Geesche (Frisian)
  • Gesina (Frisian)
  • Gerta (German)
  • Gertraud (German)
  • Gertrud (German/Scandinavian/Romansch)
  • Gertrúd (Hungarian)
  • Jerta (Hungarian)
  • Geirþrúður (Icelandic)
  • Jarþrúður (Icelandic)
  • Geltrude (Italian)
  • Gertrūda (Latvian)
  • Gjertrud (Norwegian)
  • Jartrud (Norwegian)
  • Geretrudis (Old High German)
  • Geirþrúðr (Old Norse)
  • Jarþrúðr (Old Norse)
  • Gertrudes (Portuguese)
  • Gearte (Sami)
  • Kearte (Sami)
  • Gertrúda (Slovak)
  • Trudla (Sorbian)
  • Gertrudis (Spanish)
  • Gardrud (Swedish)
  • Gertru(n) (Swedish)
  • Hjertrud (Swedish)

Common German and English short forms are Gertie and Trudi/Trudy.

Artwork

Ada(h)

Ada is sweet, vintagy and classy, with her two syllable Victoriana quality, ending and beginning in a vowel, Ada(h) may just be the next Ava. The Finns have already beaten us, as she is currently the 3rd most popular female name in Finland, (Aada, 2011).

In English, she is usually pronounced like (AY-duh), but in the rest of the world, she is (AH-dah).

Her origins are various; in the form of Adah, she can be traced to the Hebrew Bible, being a relative of the modern Hebrew unisex name, Adi, meaning (jewel), in ancient Hebrew her meaning is more around the lines of “a piece of jewelry; adornment or; ornament.”

In the Bible, Adah appears twice as the name of a wife of Lemech and again as the name of the wife Esau.

Ada without the H is usually traced to the Germanic element, adal, meaning, “noble,” making her a relative of Adela, Adelaide and Adeline. Among royalty and nobility alike, she was a popular choice across Medieval Europe, being borne by St. Ada, a 7th-century Abbess; Ada of Atholl (d.1264); Ada, Countess of Holland, (1188-1223) and; Ada de Warenne, mother of two Scottish kings and the wife of Henry of Scotland, (1120-1178).

In more contemporary times, Ada is usually associated with Ada Lovelace (née Augusta Ada Byron 1815-1852), the daughter of Lord Byron and a renowned Mathematician, she is often credited by modern scientists as being the first Computer Engineer.

The name could also be of Turkic or Greek origins, but its meaning is lost. It was borne by a female governor of Caria (377-326 B.C.E.) a loyal ally of Alexander the Great.

In the United States, Ada was quite popular around the turn of the 19th-century. The highest she ranked in U.S. naming history was in 1880, coming in as the 33rd most popular female name. By 1985, she completely fell off the charts and reappeared in the top 1000 in 2005. As of 2010, she currently ranks in as the 552nd most popular female name in the United States, (2010). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 3 (Aada, Finland, 2011)
  • # 72 (Ada, Norway, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Ada (Dutch/Estonian/Faroese/Finnish/French/Frisian/German/Greek/Hungarian/Icelandic/Italian/Latvian/Lithuanian/Polish/Plattdeutsch/Scandinavian/Slovene)
  • Aada (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Ade (Estonian)
  • Aata (Finnish)
  • Aatukka (Finnish)
  • Ata (Finnish)
  • Adina (Italian)
  • Ádá (Sami)
  • Adica (Slovene)

Rebecca

Gender: Feminine
Origin: debated
Meaning: debated
Eng (re-BEK-ka)

Rebecca is the English form of the Biblical Hebrew רִבְקָה (Rivqah), which possibly means “snare” or “noose” possibly referring to captivation or beauty, but may also be of an unknown Aramaic source.

The name is borne in the Bible by the Aramean wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau. She is considered a Jewish matriarch.

In the English speaking world, the name was seldom used until the Protestant Reformation, where it became an exceedingly popular name. Pocahantas even took this as her Christian name upon her baptism.

Currently, Rebekka is the 3rd most popular female name in Faroe Islands, (2010). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 20 (Rebecca, Italy, 2010)
  • # 24 (Rebeka, Hungary, 2010)
  • # 37 (Rebecca, Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 38 (Rebecca, Scotland, 2010)
  • # 48 (Rebecca, Ireland, 2010)
  • # 75 (Rebeka, Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 75 (Rebecca, Sweden, 2010)
  • # 82 (Rebecca, England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 137 (Rebecca, United States, 2010)
  • # 290 (Rebecca, Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 304 (Rebecca, France, 2009)
  • # 404 (Rebekah, United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Rafqa ﻪﻔﻴﻓﺍﺭ (Arabic/Syriac)
  • Rebeka Ребека (Bosnian/Bulgarian/Czech/Hungarian/Lithuanian/Polish/Slovak/Slovene)
  • Rebeca (Catalan/Ladino/Portuguese/Romanian/Spanish)
  • Rebekka (Dutch/Ethiopian/Finnish/German/Scandinavian)
  • Rebecca (English/Italian/Scandinavian)
  • Becca (English)
  • Reba (English)
  • Rebekah (English)
  • Rébecca (French)
  • Rebèque (French)
  • Rebekah (Greek: Biblical)
  • Revekka Ρεβέκκα (Greek: Modern)
  • Rifqa (Hebrew: Biblical)
  • Riva/Rivka רִבְקָה, רבקה אמנו (Hebrew: Modern)
  • Réba (Hungarian)
  • Ribka (Indonesian)
  • Ryfka (Polish-Yiddish)
  • Rebecke (Plattdeutsch)
  • Revekka Реве́кка (Russian)
  • Reveka (Serbian)
  • Rebecka (Swedish)
  • Rifka/Riwka (Yiddish)

The name was the subject of the 1938 British novel of the same name, written by Daphne du Maurier. It is also borne by a 19th-century Lebanese Christian saint. The designated name-day is March 23 (France).

Common English diminutive forms include: Becca, Beck, Becky, Bex, Reba and Rebi.

Sources

  1. Genesis 22:20-23
  2. http://www.ou.org/torah/ti/5764/toldot64.htm
  3. http://www.behindthename.com/name/rebecca
  4. http://www.askoxford.com/firstnames/rebecca?view=uk

Eva, Eve

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “life.”
Eng (EEV); (EE-vuh); Germ/Sp/Pol (EV-ah)

The name is borne in the Bible and in the Quran by the first woman created by God. She and her husband were expelled from the Garden of Eden after eating from the Tree of Knowledge.

The name is believed to be derived from the Hebrew roots חַוָּה, Ḥavvāh, from the Hebrew root ḥāyâ meaning “life” and the Semitic element, ḥyw “to live.” Both the Hebrew word chavah meaning “to live” and chayah meaning “to breath” share the same root.

Despite Eve’s fall from Grace in the Bible, the name was always in usage among Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. In England, its usage can be traced back to the 12th-century. Its Latinate form of Eva, has always been a classic in continental Europe, especially in Germany, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

As of 2010, Eva was the most popular female name in the Faroe Islanda and in Slovenia. Eve, Eva and all her various forms’ rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 3 (Iceland, 2010)
  • # 4 (French-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 5 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 7 (Ieva, Lithuania, 2010)
  • # 10 (Armenia, 2010)
  • # 10 (Evie, England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 14 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 15 (France, 2009)
  • # 17 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 20 (Belgium, 2009)
  • # 24 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 26 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 29 (Croatia, 2010)
  • # 31 (Evie, Scotland, 2010)
  • # 33 (Evie, Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 37 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 44 (Eevi, Finland among Finnish-speakers, 2010)
  • # 44 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 46 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 47 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 48 (Spain, 2010)
  • # 55 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 55 (Éabha, Ireland, 2010)
  • # 56 (Eve, Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 59 (Eve, Ireland, 2010)
  • # 86 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 91 (United States, 2010)
  • # 92 (Eve, England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 99 (Eve, Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 201 (Eve, France, 2009)
  • # 589 (Eve, United States, 2010)
  • # 705 (Evie, United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Eva Ева ევა
    (Afrikaans/Albanian/Armenian/Basque/Belarusian/Bosnian/Catalan/Croatian/Czech/Dutch/Faroese/French/Frisian/Galician/Georgian/German/Icelandic/Italian/Portuguese/Romansch/Spanish/Scandinavian)
  • Evis (Albanian)
  • Mahalet/Mahlet (Amharic)
  • Hawa حواء Хауа (Arabic)
  • Yeva (Armenian)
  • Həvva (Azeri)
  • Yeva Ева Эва (Belarusian/Russian/Ukrainian)
  • Yevga Евга (Belarusian)
  • Hava (Bosnian)
  • Evy (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish: initially a diminutive form, occasionally used as an independent given name)
  • Eveke (Dutch: initially a diminutive form, used as an independent given name, EV-eh-ke)
  • Eve (English/Estonian/Walon)
  • Evie (English)
  • Hawat/Hewa (Egyptian/Coptic)
  • Eeva (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Eevi (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Evi (Estonian)
  • Ivi/Iivi (Estonian)
  • Iivika (Estonian)
  • Ève (French)
  • Eefje, Eefke (Frisian)
  • Hawwa ሕይዋን (Ge-ez)
  • Eua Ευα (Greek)
  • Chava חַוָה (Hebrew: Modern: KHAH-vah, gutteral CH sound)
  • Éva (Hungarian: AY-vaw, diminutive form is Évike)
  • Hawa (Indonesian/Malayalam)
  • Éabha (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Ieva (Latvian/Lithuanian: YEH-vah)
  • Evuzus (Malaysian)
  • Aaue (Manx)
  • Èva (Occitanian)
  • Ewa (Polish: EH-vah, diminutive forms are Ewka, Ewunia and Ewusia)
  • Evá (Sami)
  • Evelia (Spanish)
  • Evita (Spanish)
  • Eba (Tagalog)
  • Havva (Turkish)
  • Efa (Welsh)

Italian masculine form is Evo.

Traditionally, in most European countries, the name-day for Adam and Eve is December 24.

Frederick

Gender: Masculine
Origin: German
Meaning: “peaceful ruler.”
Eng (FRED-eh-rick; FRED-rick)

The name is composed of the Germanic elements, frid (peace) and rich (ruler). The name has been popular in the Germanic world since the 10th century. It was borne by three dukes of Austria, including Frederick the Fair (1289-1330), the first king of Austria. It was extremely popular among minor German royalty and was eventually borne by Frederick II, King of Prussia, also known as Frederick the Great (1712-1786)

Among Danish Royalty, it has been tradition to alternate naming the eldest son either Christian or Frederick each generation. Frederick, so far, has been borne by nine Danish kings and is currently borne by the Danish Crown Prince (b.1968).

In the Middle Ages, it was borne by three Holy Roman Emperors, including the illustrious Crusader, Frederick I Barberossa (the Red Beard).

The name was introduced into England by the Normans, but became popular in the 18th-century when the German Hanovers inherited the British Throne, which has issued at least one Frederick thus far: Frederick, Prince of Wales (1707–1751), eldest son of King George II of England.

As of 2010, its Danish form of Frederik was the 7th most popular male name in Denmark. His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 11 (Federico, Italy, 2010)
  • # 16 (Federico, Argentina, 2009)
  • # 35 (Fredrik, Norway, 2010)
  • # 95 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 393 (Frederik, Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 496 (United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Ferry (Alsatian)
  • Frederig (Breton)
  • Frederic (Catalan)
  • Bedřich (Czech)
  • Frederick (English)
  • Fríðrikur (Faroese)
  • Fredrik (Finnish/Scandinavian)
  • Frédéric (French)
  • Freark (Frisian)
  • Fridric (Frisian)
  • Frerich (German)
  • Friedrich (German)
  • Frigyes (Hungarian)
  • Friðrik (Icelandic)
  • Feardorcha (Irish)
  • Federico (Italian/Spanish)
  • Federigo (Italian)
  • Fredo (Italian)
  • Fricis (Latvian)
  • Frīdrihs (Latvian)
  • Frydrichas (Lithuanian)
  • Friduric (Old High German)
  • Friðrikr (Old Norse)
  • Freerk (Plattdeustch)
  • Fryderyk (Polish)
  • Frédéri (Poitvin)
  • Frederico (Portuguese)
  • Frederi (Provançal)
  • Fadri (Romansch)
  • Frideric (Romansch)
  • Riet (Romansch)
  • Riget (Romansch)
  • Friderik (Slovene)
Common diminutives include:
  • Bedřišek (Czech)
  • Béďa (Czech)
  • Béďánek (Czech)
  • Bédísek (Czech)
  • Fedder (Danish)
  • Fred (English/Scandinavian)
  • Freddy (English/Scandinavian)
  • Frits (Faroese)
  • Fiete (Frisian)
  • Fiddy (German)
  • Freidi (German)
  • Freidl (German)
  • Fre(r)k (German)
  • Fritz (German)
Its feminine form of Federica is currently the 21st most popular female name in Italy, (2009), while Frederikke is currently the 38th most popular female name in Denmark, (2010) and Frédérique is the 150th most popular female name in the Netherlands, (2010).
Other feminine forms include:
  • Bedřiška (Czech)
  • Frederikke (Danish/Norwegian)
  • Frédérique (Dutch/French)
  • Frederica (English/Portuguese)
  • Friðrika (Faroese/Icelandic)
  • Fredrika (Finnish/Swedish)
  • Friederike (German)
  • Federica (Italian)
  • Fryderyka (Polish)
  • Fadrica (Romansch)
  • Fadrina (Romansch)

Anna, Anne

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: “grace.”
(ANN; AHN). (ANN-uh; AHN-nah). (HANN-uh; HAHN-nah)

Anne is possibly one of the quintessential classic English and French female names. Prior to the 18th-century, it seems that every other girl born in England was either named Anne, Jane or Mary. There were several British and French queens who bore this simplistic moniker, including the ill fated Anne Boleyn, the mother of Elizabeth I. The history of Anne is rather long and complicated.

It was foremost popularized through the cult of St. Anne, a legendary figure who was said to be the mother of the Virgin Mary and the grandmother of Christ.

In Brittany, the name became especially popular because it happened to coincide with the name of an ancient Celtic goddess, her cult being replaced by St. Anne’s. In fact, it was borne by one Breton Princess, Anne of Brittany.

The name was introduced into Britain by the French-Normans after the invasion in 1066. Previously, there had been a minor Saxon king named Anna, but in this case the name is related to the Saxon arn (eagle). Anna and Anne are still occasionally used as male given names in Friesland.

Other than the apocryphal saint, the name Anne can be traced directly back to the Bible. In the New Testament, it is the name of a prophetess who predicts the Crucifixion of Christ.

Anna (Αννα), is the Greek translation of the early Hebrew Channah חַנָּה, usually transliterated as Hannah, meaning “grace.”

Hannah is borne in the Old Testament by the faithful mother of the prophet, Samuel.

Hannah has always been popular among Jewish families, but was virtually unheard of among non-Jews before the Reformation, except in some cases where it may have been used as a diminutive form of Johanna, spelled Hanna.

It was the Byzantines who had introduced the Anna form to the world, making it popular throughout Eastern and Southern Europe. It was a very popular name among the Byzantine royal family and it was borne by the majestic Anna of Byzantium.

Anna may be the more melodic form of the bunch, but Anne’s minimalistic qualities are charming. Short, to the point, no frills. It’s not a bad name, though it does lack some spice, which is why parents are probably more attracted to its more exotic alternatives. In fact, Anne only comes in at # 608 in the top 1000 female names of the United States. It is safe to say, however, that she is very much loved in the middle name spot.

Anna is currently one of the most popular female names in Europe and abroad. Her rankings are as follows:

  • # 1 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 1 (Estonia, 2011)
  • # 2 (Hungary, 2010)
  • # 3 (Ana, Georgia, 2010)
  • # 3 (Iceland, 2010)
  • # 4 (Ana, Croatia, 2010)
  • # 4 (Czech Republic, 2010)
  • # 4 (Germany, 2011)
  • # 4 (Ukraine, 2010)
  • # 5 (Faroe Islands, 2010)
  • # 5 (Ana, Portugal, 2010)
  • # 6 (Armenia, 2010)
  • # 6 (Ane, Greenland, 2002-2003)
  • # 6 (Ana, Romania, 2009)
  • # 6 (Ana, Serbia, 2010)
  • # 7 (Latvia, 2011)
  • # 7 (Russia, 2011)
  • # 8 (German-speaking Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 9 (Denmark, 2011)
  • # 10 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 10 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 10 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 11 (Italy, 2010)
  • # 12 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 14 (Poland, 2010)
  • # 16 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 26 (Canada, B.C., 2010)
  • # 28 (Italian-speaking Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 28 (United States, 2010)
  • # 29 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 40 (France, 2009)
  • # 46 (French-speaking Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 53 (Belgium, 2009)
  • # 63 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 71 (Australia, 2010)
  • # 81 (Sweden, 2010)
  • # 83 (Spain, 2010)
Other forms of the name include:
  • Anneen (Afrikaans/Low German)
  • Anna Анна (Afrikaans/Albanian/Armenian/Breton/Bulgarian/Catalan/Corsican/Czech/Dutch/English/Estonian/Faroese/Finnish/French/Frisian/German/Greek/Hungarian/Icelandic/Italian/Latvian/Limburgish/Maltese/Polish/Russian/Ukrainian/Scandinavian/Slovak)
  • Anne (Basque/Dutch/English/French/Scandinavian)
  • Gánna Га́нна (Belarusian)
  • Annaig (Breton)
  • Annick (Breton)
  • Maina (Breton)
  • Mannaig (Breton)
  • Mannick (Breton)
  • Naig (Breton)
  • Ana Ана ანა (Bulgarian/Croatian/Galician/Georgian/Lombard/Macedonian/Portuguese/Romanian/Samogaitian/Serbian/Slovene/Spanish/Venetian)
  • Jana (Croatian/Ladino)
  • Aneta (Czech/Polish/Samogaitian/Slovak)
  • Aina (Catalan)
  • Anica (Croatian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Ane (Danish)
  • Anika (Danish)
  • Anneke (Dutch)
  • Anneken (Dutch)
  • Annika (Dutch/Finnish/German/Latvian/Scandinavian)
  • Anka (Dutch/Frisian/German)
  • An(n)ke (Dutch/Frisian)
  • Anouk (Dutch/French)
  • Ans (Dutch)
  • Enneke (Dutch)
  • Enneken (Dutch)
  • Anita (English/German/Polish/Spanish)
  • Annette (English/French/German)
  • Anissa (English)
  • Annelle/Annella (Estonian)
  • Anete (Estonian/Latvian)
  • Anett (Estonian)
  • Anu (Estonian)
  • Anni (Finnish)
  • Annikki (Finnish)
  • Anniina (Finnish)
  • Annukka (Finnish)
  • Niina (Finnish)
  • Anaïs (French/Provençal)
  • Annouche (French)
  • Ninette (French)
  • Ninon (French)
  • Ninouk (French)
  • Anje (Frisian)
  • Ankea (Frisian)
  • Antje (Frisian)
  • Antjen (Frisian)
  • Anute (Fruilian)
  • Anano (Georgian)
  • Annchen (German)
  • Annel (German)
  • Annele (German/Latvian)
  • Anneli(e) (German/Finnish/Swedish)
  • Annet (German)
  • Anina (German)
  • Anja (German/Slovene)
  • Anouschka (German/Italian/Russian)
  • Annaki (Greek)
  • Annoula (Greek)
  • Noula (Greek)
  • Anikó (Hungarian)
  • Annuska (Hungarian)
  • Panni (Hungarian)
  • Áine (Irish)
  • Ánna (Irish)
  • Annarella (Italian)
  • Annella (Italian)
  • Annetta (Italian)
  • Annettina (Italian)
  • Nona (Italian/Romansch)
  • Ance (Latvian)
  • Annija (Latvian)
  • Anninya (Latvian)
  • Ona (Lithuanian)
  • Annamma (Malayalam)
  • Annam (Malayalam)
  • Onnee (Manx)
  • Âone (Norman)
  • Aenna/Aenne (Old High German)
  • Annehe (Old High German)
  • Änna/Änne (Old High German)
  • Neta (Piedmontese)
  • Noto (Piedmontese)
  • Anke (Plattdeutsch)
  • Anneke(n) (Plattdeutsch)
  • Analia (Romansch/Spanish)
  • Annina (Romansch)
  • Annotta (Romansch)
  • Anca (Romanian)
  • Anicuta (Romanian)
  • Anėta (Samogaitian)
  • Anėkė (Samogaitian)
  • Annag (Scottish)
  • Ghianna (Sicilian)
  • Janna (Sicilian)
  • Nanna (Sicilian)
  • Anniken (Swedish)
  • Ann (Welsh)
  • Nan (Welsh)
  • Nanno (Welsh)
  • Nanw (Welsh)
  • Aana (Wolof)
As for the Hannah forms

Hanna without an H is the prefered form on Continental Europe, usually pronounced (HAHN-nah) and in French like Anna. Hanna and Hanne (HAHN-neh) are also used as diminutive forms of Johanna/Johanne in the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany. There is the Hungarian Hajna pronounced (HOY-no). The Czech/Slovak form of Hana nickname Hanka. There are the Yiddish forms of Heyna, Hayna, Hejna (all pronounced like HAY-nah) including the diminutive forms of HenaHende, Hendel and Henye.  The Polish diminutive form of Hania, which might make an interesting alternative to Anya or Hannah. Hannah, Hanna and Henna are all used in the Middle East.

Of course, how could we ever forget the popular diminutive forms of Annie and Nan.